Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a structured, short-term counseling approach used to treat a variety of problems including, depression, anxiety, social and other fears. It is a model of counseling based on the idea that negative or self-critical thinking influences mood and behavior in a negative way.

This therapy emphasizes patient and therapist working together as a team. Together, the patient and therapist examine the problem thinking to see whether or not it is true about the patient.

Maladaptive thought patterns tend to be present as the result of major life experiences, or as part of a biological/chemical imbalance. Inaccurate thinking patterns aggravate and prolong the mood and anxiety symptoms the patient is experiencing.

One goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to teach the patient how to be his or her own therapist by teaching how to evaluate his or her own thinking. Once examined, patients can the judge their accuracy. This leads to gradually changing the content and emotional impact of this thinking. Patients get better because they better understand themselves, learn tools that they can apply to a variety of situation, and use these tools to solve problems.

Anne O'Brien, Ph.D.